South Florida CLT will start construction on six affordably priced, single-family homes in Deerfield Beach in a few short months. The project will spur development in an underserved neighborhood dotted with vacant lots while creating a new standard for sustainable and affordable design. The new homes, estimated to be complete in early 2018, will be made available for sale to low-income households under the Community Land Trust Model of homeownership.

These homes, which will be “Enterprise Green Certified,” were designed by the local architectural team of BirseThomas Architects, EXPO Studios, and Cadence. The team was selected during a national design competition hosted by South Florida CLT and funded by Enterprise Community Partners.

The selected designers abandoned traditional development plans for ones that include spacious porches and breezeways that integrate interior and exterior spaces. The finished project will be a collection of modern bungalows with Bahamian vernacular, reminiscent of the community’s rich history.  Last year, South Florida CLT held a series of community workshops that identified resident preferences and cultural elements evident in the final contextual design of the houses.

“For this project, we felt the need to break away from conventional development strategies for value-added architecture, and landscape as infrastructure – not just ornamental,” said Joe Thomas, of Birse Thomas Architects. “The neighborhood template we design offers smart interfaces that balance public and private, urban and ecological, and individual and collective. This approach allows us to create expansiveness within a small footprint development which is synchronized with the average household income.”

These residences also connect the natural environment with the building and street to allow sun saturation and airflow.

“Often the outdoor space is viewed as leftover space. In these home sites, the outdoor design is fully integrated with the circulation of the home’s interior layout, improving the homeowners’ connection to their surrounding natural environment. Outdoor living room space expands the livable square footage of the home and existing trees were preserved to maximize shade on the home site. Native plants that need less water once established were proposed,” said Rebecca Bradley, PLA, ASLA, Founding Principal, Cadence.

This project, which embraces contextual community-driven design, recently received a 2017 Honor Award in the annual Design Awards Program from The Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for their innovative approach to affordable and sustainable design.

The homes will be made affordable thanks to the City of Deerfield Beach, which donated the lots, and Broward County, Enterprise Community Partners, and Iberia Bank, all of which provided funding.  Birse Thomas Architects, Expo Studios, and Cadence led the design efforts, and Craven Thompson, Calvin, Giordano & Associates, and Greenspoon Marder, all donated their time or discounted their fees to support the project.


About South Florida CLT

South Florida Community Land Trust is a non-profit corporation that protects land to keep housing affordable forever. With a mission “to provide and preserve quality, sustainable, affordable housing for underserved populations in South Florida,” the group is committed to ensuring that individuals and families – particularly low-income households – can afford housing without comprising on quality or location.  It is the only established organization in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties currently committed to the long-term affordability of housing.